President of the Barbados Association of Retailers, Vendors and Entrepreneurs (BARVEN), Alister Alexander, said the burden to provide healthy meals for students should not fall on vendors alone.
“You need to also deal with importations like what is being imported and what they [students] are able to access before they come to school like supermarkets and retail places. It would be a hole-in-the-basket policy if you have a situation where you cannot access these things at all from school but they can still access them freely somewhere else,” he said.
His comments came following the address by Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, Kay McConney, at the Mount of Praise Wesleyan Holiness Church in Tudor Bridge, St Michael, on Monday.
Some of the teachers and students who attended a church service to mark the start of Education Month. (Picture by Lennox Devonish)
She said Government was implementing its National Nutritional Policy for Schools and vendors were essential if they hope to curb the number of Barbadians who die yearly of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs).
“Those who run concessions in our schools, those who operate canteens, those who are our vendors in and around the premises of our schools, we want you to join us in that effort. I want everyone single one of you in here to be strict guardians of your health and firm craftsmen of the wellness environment in your schools. Start to insist on the alternative, instead of some of the regular chips try some sweet potation chips. This is how we make this National School Policy real,” McConney noted.
The Minister said over the last seven years, NCDs contributed to more than 83 per cent of deaths in Barbados and survey data showed 30 per cent of children between ages 13-15 were either overweight or obese. (RT)